Draw waveforms directly into your modular synth with this open-source touch module

Jan 10, 2023

Project update 7 of 15

The Next Generation of Trill Sensors

by Robert J

In this update we are going to take a closer look at the new editions of our Trill sensors. Don’t miss your chance to get a Trill selection pack with one of each sensor for just $90 during the campaign!

From Gliss to Trill

Gliss builds upon the technology used in Trill, our family of capacitive touch sensors, and in this campaign we are also offering new and updated versions of our Trill sensors for purchase. The Trill sensors use capacitive touch sensing to precisely track finger movements, making high-resolution touch sensing accessible to engineers and designers who want to incorporate touch into their interactive projects.

The sensors come in various formats and sizes and each one specializes in a specific type of touch sensing. Here is a comparison table showing all the available versions.

Sensor name Sensing Mode Multitouch Dimensions
Bar 1-axis sliderYes101 mm x 22 mm
Ring 1-axis sliderYes52 mm (outer diameter); 28 mm (inner diameter)
Square 2-axis padNo*69 mm x 69 mm
Hex 2-axis padNo*46.5 mm (edge to edge); 52 mm (corner to corner)
Craft** 30-channel breakoutYes52 mm x 21 mm
Flex*** 1-axis slider (included)YesSensor dimensions: 117 mm x 22 mm

* Pseudo-multi-touch is possible on these sensors but due to the matrix arrangement of pads it is not possible to reliably track the position of individual touches when there is more than one present.

** Trill Craft is a 30-channel breakout board for creating custom touch interfaces out of any conductive material.

*** Trill Flex comes with a single-axis, multi-touch sensor printed on flex PCB. Since the sensor is detachable you can create your own sensors for use with Trill Flex. See our tutorial.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the updates in the new revisions of Trill.

QWIIC connectors

One of the major design changes to Trill Bar, Square, Hex, Ring, Hub and Flex is the replacement of the Grove connecter in favor of the significantly smaller QWIIC connector. This makes mounting the sensor much easier due to the reduced connector size. We have also broken out the I2C connections for each of these sensors to pads which are easy to solder to, handy if you find yourself without a QWIIC cable or need to save even more vertical space.

Here are some pictures of the new revisions which we have just received back from our manufacturer and are all working perfectly. We are making some minor updates to the silkscreen and then will be ready hit go on the production run. Please note that Trill Ring will be Black in the final production run, and that all Trill sensors come with the appropriate QWIIC to header pin cable.

The QWIIC ecosytem of I2C devices is based on four-pin JST-SH (1mm pitch) connectors, and is becoming the gold standard for I2C in open source hardware projects. For an interesting read on why Grove connectors are a thing of the past and JST is the way forward, check out this Hackaday article on connector types for I2C.

Castellated pads

Trill Craft now has castellated pads making it easier to solder to the pads and also making it possible to solder Craft directly to a secondary PCB without the need for any mounting pins.

We also love castellated pads for the ease with which you can work with conductive thread. There has been many projects created with Trill Craft and e-textiles for example this tutorial by Becky Stewart, Lecturer in the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London.

What can you do with Trill?

Trill sensors are the perfect toolkit for building custom interfaces, bespoke controllers, and touch panels. Use them to sketch interface ideas and create new interactions in your hardware projects. Here are some of our favorite projects created with the sensors since their launch a couple of years ago.

Brassynth: digital brass instrument

Sonic circuit sculptures

Electroacoustic instruments

Making music with plants

Large scale interactive sound installations

You can find out more about all these projects on Don’t miss your chance to get a Trill selection pack with one of each sensor for just $90 during the campaign. This is the best way to try out the whole range of sensors and comes with a huge discount in comparison to the normal retail price of $127.

As ever, thank you for the ongoing support.

Sign up to receive future updates for Gliss.

Subscribe to the Crowd Supply newsletter, highlighting the latest creators and projects